After a 10-year career in the military, Tracy was focused on starting over fresh as he re-entered civilian life. By building off of the skills and disciplines he learned while serving in the military, he quickly landed an operations and sales manager position at an industrial power generator company in Philadelphia and moved from his family in New Jersey to Common Civic in Philadelphia for the role.
Tracy was excited to start a new chapter in his life and find community in Philadelphia city…and then a global pandemic hit.
We caught up with Tracy to gather his perspective on transitioning from a military lifestyle to a coliving apartment and how he’s been operating while in quarantine in a brand new city.
Hi Tracy! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. First off, what attracted you to Philadelphia and Common?
I was at a place in my life where I wanted to completely start over, which is what attracted me to Common. I didn’t have to think about furniture, finding roommates, or even setting up utilities! As someone who is new to the city, I also loved the idea of being able to meet new people in the building and find a community outside of a work environment.
I moved to Philadelphia to focus my two businesses: one that is dedicated to helping disabled military veterans, and the other provides networking opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs! Although I was in the workforce for about four years before joining the military, it still has been a difficult transition to leave the structure of that chapter of my life. Common has definitely helped make that transition a little easier and less lonely.
Out of curiosity, how does coliving in the military compare to coliving as a civilian?
Initially, I thought that a coliving structure would feel more familiar to me after my background of living with others in the military, however, I’ve discovered that there are still many differences! For one thing, my room and amenities are definitely much nicer than what I’ve had in the past. One thing that has not changed is the need to communicate. If you can have clear communication with the people that you live with, I believe that can trump any conflict that comes up.
Do you have a favorite part of Common Civic?
I absolutely love the huge windows! Our unit has two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows which completely transforms the space. I’ve also loved going up to the roof and getting some much-needed fresh-air after long days of working in quarantine.
Once the quarantine is over, what will be the first thing you look forward to doing?
Definitely to get out more in Philadelphia and explore my neighborhood! Common’s member events are currently all virtual, but I’m excited to have the in-person events and excursions start up again. While I’ve been staying at home, I’ve also focused on learning photography and videography skills, so I would love to get into the city and practice my new hobby.
Looking for other ways to navigate quarantine with roommates?
We’ve created the ultimate roommate social distancing guide and interviewed our members for their advice to help you distance yourself in a fun and safe way. Stay up to date on our Instagram for even more updates and roommate tips!